Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
Message: I had topaz in the hospital and metal poisoning was one of the things that was checked..vet was stumped.
Editor’s note: Why do vets never test the water source? 63 million Americans are exposed to unsafe drinking water which is why we only give bottled water to our birds.
When I took a corner shelf down I saw he had chewed away a quarter-sized area of paint off under the shelf which he loved. so I covered that area up with a large perch and we were fine for a week. then it started again and I searched all over the cage and found another chewed are.
vet says that I need an ss cage. I would much rather have this one and a bird that isn’t chewing paint. if not the paint then the wrought iron underneath it? idk..his cbc came back ok, fecal normal all ok..but poops abnormal, weight loss,
not eating right, and weight loss and not my normal conure. I just want to do the right thing..we lost my sunshine at thanksgiving during routine bloodwork at the vet they said she had a seizure and I am a bit frantic about this.
I’m 1300.00 in for medical now and will be explaining to my husband why he is eating pasta for the next month after I tell him about the cage. actually, I don’t know what to do. wed area..so I thought maybe bad paint job… I have this cage in white and its fabulous.
First, take a deep breath
the next step would be to have the “paint” tested for toxicity which is still much cheaper than buying a stainless cage – here’s a kit for $10 that may confirm or repudiate the presence of lead, let me know.
He is also telling you to buy a Ferrari so you can get to work quicker.
That said with all due respect to your avian veterinarian the paint he refers to is actually a powder coating made of polymer or nylon bonded directly into the metal in a high heat process.
The coatings if ingested would not harm your bird.
Nylon is actually is NSF approved for shelving in foodservice applications.
The poison that your vet speaks of would be metal poisoning and your bird would actually have to be eating the metal not the powder coating to be adversely affected
Just look at manufacturers like Prevue Pet who been making animal cages since 1869 and sell to every big box and Internet site we know of.
We’ve been selling their birdcages for more than a dozen years.
They only make powder coat cages which if they poised a poisoning danger to birds don’t you think you would’ve seen birds falling dead all over the place?
And because they sell to retailers like us and much larger retailers that don’t want the financial liability of selling you something that would intentionally kill your bird.
Cages don’t kill our pet birds, we kill our pet birds and we’re bold enough to say we always don’t agree with the veterinarians.
Here are some things that we’ve written about in the past to hopefully provide you with information to make a well-rounded decision
Somewhere you will find the words “Many plating baths include cyanides of other metals (e.g., potassium cyanide) in addition to cyanides of the metal to be deposited. These free cyanides facilitate anode corrosion, help to maintain a constant metal ion level and contribute to conductivity.
Additionally, non-metal chemicals such as carbonates and phosphates may be added to increase conductivity.
When talking about the production of stainless steel”
The majority of cages sold on the market today are made of wrought iron
From Wikipedia, we learn that stainless steel does stain & corrode under certain conditions:
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French “inoxydable”, is a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass.
And if you don’t want to read all the blah blah here is part of the process used to make stainless steel found it the end of my description
“Many plating baths include cyanides of other metals (e.g., potassium cyanide) in addition to cyanides of the metal to be deposited.
These free cyanides facilitate anode corrosion, help to maintain a constant metal ion level, and contribute to conductivity. Additionally, non-metal chemicals such as carbonates and phosphates may be added to increase conductivity.
When plating is not desired on certain areas of the substrate, stop-offs are applied to prevent the bath from coming in contact with the substrate. Typical stop-offs include tape, foil, lacquers, and waxes”
Stainless steel does not readily corrode, rust or stain with water as ordinary steel does.
However, it is not fully stain-proof in low-oxygen, high-salinity, or poor air-circulation environments.
There are different grades and surface finishes of stainless steel to suit the environment the alloy must endure. Stainless steel is used where both the properties of steel and corrosion resistance are required.
Stainless steel differs from carbon steel by the amount of chromium present. Unprotected carbon steel rusts readily when exposed to air and moisture.
This iron oxide film (the rust) is active and accelerates corrosion by forming more iron oxide; and, because of the greater volume of the iron oxide, this tends to flake and fall away.
Stainless steels contain sufficient chromium to form a passive film of chromium oxide, which prevents further surface corrosion by blocking oxygen diffusion to the steel surface and blocks corrosion from spreading into the metal’s internal structure, and, due to the similar size of the steel and oxide ions, they bond very strongly and remain attached to the surface.
Chromium metal and ferrochromium alloy are commercially produced from chromite by silicothermic or aluminothermic reactions, or by roasting and leaching processes. Chromium metal has proven of high value due to its high corrosion resistance and hardness.
A major development was the discovery that steel could be made highly resistant to corrosion and discoloration by adding metallic chromium to form stainless steel. This application, along with chrome plating (electroplating with chromium) currently comprises 85% of the commercial use for the element, with applications for chromium compounds forming the remainder.
Passivation occurs only if the proportion of chromium is high enough and oxygen is present.
The process used in electroplating is called electrodeposition. It is analogous to a galvanic cell acting in reverse. The part to be plated is the cathode of the circuit. In one technique, the anode is made of the metal to be plated on the part. Both components are immersed in a solution called an electrolyte containing one or more dissolved metal salts as well as other ions that permit the flow of electricity.
A power supply supplies a direct current to the anode, oxidizing the metal atoms that it comprises and allowing them to dissolve in the solution. At the cathode, the dissolved metal ions in the electrolyte solution are reduced at the interface between the solution and the cathode, such that they “plate out” onto the cathode. The rate at which the anode is dissolved is equal to the rate at which the cathode is plated, vis-a-vis the current through the circuit. In this manner, the ions in the electrolyte bath are continuously replenished by the anode.
Other electroplating processes may use a non-consumable anode such as lead or carbon. In these techniques, ions of the metal to be plated must be periodically replenished in the bath as they are drawn out of the solution. The most common form of electroplating is used for creating coins such as pennies, which are small zinc plates covered in a layer of copper.
The plating is most commonly a single metallic element, not an alloy. However, some alloys can be electrodeposited, notably brass and solder.
Many plating baths include cyanides of other metals (e.g., potassium cyanide) in addition to cyanides of the metal to be deposited. These free cyanides facilitate anode corrosion, help to maintain a constant metal ion level and contribute to conductivity. Additionally, non-metal chemicals such as carbonates and phosphates may be added to increase conductivity.
When plating is not desired on certain areas of the substrate, stop-offs are applied to prevent the bath from coming in contact with the substrate. Typical stop-offs include tape, foil, lacquers, and waxes.
Now that I have taken you around the block all that means is stainless steel is being offered to a bird totally unprotected. If lesser stainless steel is offered even the stainless can poison your bird
Here are some general cage selection guidelines
Birdcages are investments, spend wisely your birdcage has to meet not only the requirements of your birds but should blend with your lifestyle.
The cage may reside in a casual family room or a formal living room. Maybe you’re lucky (or crazy) enough to have a bird room. There are a lot of factors and everyone has an opinion.
Here’s ours… Birds are flock animals.
When they become your pet, you become their flock.
What Size Cage?
Have you heard “buy the biggest cage you can afford”? Nonsense! We know happy well-adjusted Macaws living in 30″ diameter round cages. How could they, you gasp?
The three Macaws I’m referring to have a stay-at-home mom. They are out from 6:00 in the morning till 9:00 at night and are thrilled to go to sleep in their narrow cages.
So before you decide on a cage, you need to know what bar spacing to look for:
As long as the spacing between the bars is narrow enough to prevent injury if the bird tries to escape. The Bird’s head should not be able to fit between the bars.The door needs to be large enough to comfortably put your hand through, catch the bird, remove the bird, and replace the bird. For larger birds, it needs to be big enough so they don’t rub feathers on the bars every time they turn around. And like people, birds like to stretch (I know an African Grey that does Yoga). Just don’t cramp the bird.
For some general guidelines – Click here
Different species, different needs.
Small species (Finches, Canaries, Lovebirds, and Parakeets) deserve wider cages because birds travel side-to-side. Many of the small species never leave their cages. You have to let them fly because it’s heart-healthy.
Medium and larger birds have a different set of needs. So let’s apply some common sense. Do you have a big bird? Are you away a lot? Then try to get a bigger cage. (Would you like to spend all day in a room the size of a closet?)
Bigger cages allow birds to move about much as we move about our home. Ideally parrots like three zones. The upper zone should have lots of toys and “cover”. Birds feel safe up high, not easily seen, like in the wild. (Don’t we feel comfy in our bedrooms?)
The middle zone is where they’ll spend the day, playing with toys, eating, hanging out.
The bottom is where they’ll go to look for food and toys that may have dropped. Parrots are scavengers in nature.
Do I need feeding doors?
We suggest feeding doors for a couple of reasons. For the smaller birds, its less invasive than stick a hand in the cage. If you go away for a day or more with a larger bird, the feeder door enable “bird sitters” to replace food and water without placing their hands in the cage.
What are breeding doors for?
Whether you breed or not you can’t keep female birds from laying eggs. You can attach a nest box to your cage over the nest box door opening. This enables the hen to lay and sit on her eggs (whether they are fertile or not) privately as nature intended.
What kind of top should the cage have?
Flat top – cages will allow play gyms or supplies to be placed up top. May allow for stacking of other cages.
Play top – gives the bird a place to be when outside the cage. If you spend time with your bird near the cage, this may be helpful. If you move the bird to another room when he or she is out, a playtop may not be necessary.
Convertible cages – Some cages are now designed so the play top can move from room-to-room and then placed back on the cage.
Dome top – Allow more height inside the cage. May or may not open. If it opens, it’s hard to hang toys here.
Napoleon top – Allow more height inside the cage. May or may not open. If it opens, it’s hard to hang toys here but a perch can usually span the open doors creating a playtop area. Many Napoleon tops have an additional drop-down landing style door in front.
What kind of door should I look for?
Ideally, you should be able to place or remove the bird with room to spare. Large cages will usually have large hinged swing outdoors. Many smaller species cages have double doors. A smaller slide up door inside another larger slide up or swing out door making cleaning easier.
Dropdown or landing doors are useful for flighted birds returning to their cages.
Are casters important?
It depends on, the size of the cage, how often you move the cage and the surface the cage sits on. The majority of casters are the type you might see on a modern office chair. They’re made of plastic and have an aluminum shaft that slips into a plugin the bottom of the cage legs. Better cages will have brass casters, with ball bearing swivel assemblies for longer life.
Powder coat, paint or stainless?
There is no easy answer. A good paint coating will outlast a poor powder coating. Stainless steel is harder to weld than wrought iron. Low-quality stainless steel can rust. The cage manufacturers we offer have been chosen by us for their overall quality, attention to detail, replacement parts availability and high levels of customer service. We try to include as much information about each cage as possible. We plan on enhancing our listing with even more information and better images in the coming weeks. Thank you for your patience.
Your goal should be not to make the transition easy – this is for the birds well being. We advocate changing the positions all the toys and perches in a cage, at the very least once-a-month